How to Recover Emptied or Deleted Trash on Mac (2023)

How to Recover Emptied or Deleted Trash on Mac 2022 (Free without Software)

I’m using macOS Sierra. I accidentally emptied the Trash and need to recover some files. Is it possible to recover Trash on Mac? Help, please.

Hi, I want to know how to recover files from Trash on my MacBook pro. I have accidentally deleted an important excel document from Trash, is this possible to do that? Thanks!

This happens a lot. All the files that moved to the trash will stay in your Mac Trash bin and you can put them back at any time unless you delete or empty the Trash. This article outlines how to recover emptied or deleted Trash on Mac without using any 3rd party software. Additional instruction covers how to recover files from emptied or deleted Mac Trash bin as many as possible.

Can I Recover Emptied Trash on Mac?

Yes, you can.

Usually, when you move files to Trash, they are not permanently deleted. You can easily restore them by putting them back. But if you empty the Trash bin, are the files gone for good?

No! In fact, the deleted files still remain on your Mac hard drive. When you permanently delete files or empty the Trash, you only lose their directory entries. That means you are not allowed to access or view them in a normal way. And the spaces of trashed files are marked as free and can be occupied by new files you add. Once overwritten by new data, the deleted files can become unrecoverable.

So stop working with the hard drive where files were deleted to avoid overwriting. It is also crucial to use a powerful Mac Trash recovery tool to find and recover all deleted files from emptied Trash before they’re truly gone.

How to Successfully Recover All Emptied Trash Files on Mac?

To recover deleted files from emptied Trash bin on Mac, one of the most important issues to address is how many files can be brought back. To get the highest recovery rate, it makes sense to use a dedicated data recovery tool designed for Mac users, which avoids recovering files in vain.

MacDeed Data Recovery can be your first option when it comes to recovering emptied trash on Mac. Due to its powerful recovery ability, fast scan speed, and ease to use, it is highly evaluated and recommended by users even tech authorities.

This Mac trash recovery tool is 100% safe to use on Mac running macOS 10.9 or above. It can recover nearly all deleted files from your Trash, Mac hard drive, and even external storage devices. By supporting files in 200+ formats, like video, audio, and photo, this tool helps you recover all types of files.

Why MacDeed is Picked as the Best Mac Trash Recovery Software?

1. Deal with various data losses from Trash

  • Accidentally or mistakenly deleted files from the Trash bin.
  • Tap the “Empty Trash” button from the Trash window.
  • Press the Command + Shift + Delete keys to delete files from Trash.
  • Press Command + Option + Shift + Delete to empty Trash without warning.
  • Right-click the Trash icon in Dock and select “Empty Trash” or “Secure Empty Trash”.
  • Use third-party data erase tool to erase the Trash files.

2. Recover 200+ types of files from Mac Trash

Virtually all files in popular formats can be recovered by MacDeed Data Recovery, including photos, music, videos, archives, emails, folders, and raw file types. And for those Apple-proprietary formats, such as Keynote, Pages, Numbers, Preview PDF, etc., MacDeed still works.

3. Offer 2 recovery modes

MacDeed Data Recovery offers 2 recovery modes, including quick and deep scanning, which not only allows users to fast scan files in emptied trash but also to do the recovery according to practical needs.

4. Excellent user experience

  • Easy to use
  • Save scan result
  • Filter files with keyword, file size, date created or modified
  • Preview files before recovery
  • Recover to local drive or Cloud, so that you can save space on Mac

5. Fast and highly successful recovery

MacDeed Data Recovery can process the recovery extremely fast and well. It may dig out those deleted files hidden deep in your trash bin. For the files recovered by MacDeed, they can be opened and re-write for further use.

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How to Recover Emptied or Deleted Trash on Mac Successfully?

Step 1. Run MacDeed Data Recovery on your Mac.

Download and install MacDeed Data Recovery on your Mac, then launch the program for scanning.

Step 2. Choose the location.

Go to Disk Data Recovery, and choose the Mac hard drive to recover your deleted files.

Select a Location

Step 3. Start scanning.

Click “Scan” to find the trashed files. Go to Type and check files under different folders. Or you can use the filter to quickly search files with keywords, file size, and date created or modified.

files scanning

Step 4. Preview and Recover the found file in Mac trash.

Double-click on the file to preview. Then select them and recover them to a local drive or Cloud as you like.

select Mac files recover

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How to Recover Emptied or Deleted Trash on Mac without Software?

Like many other users new to this recovery issue, you may be looking for a free way to recover emptied trash on Mac without downloading any 3rd party software. And luckily, we do have solutions to do so, but the premise is, you have backed up the trash files in your external hard drive or online storage services.

Recover Emptied Trash on Mac from Time Machine

If you have turned on Time Machine for backup, then there are possibilities to recover emptied Trash on Mac from Time Machine.

Step 1. Click Time Machine in the menu bar and select “Enter Time Machine”.

Step 2. Then a window pops up. And you will see all your backup files. You can use the timeline or onscreen up and down arrows to locate the files you need.

Step 3. Select the files you want to restore and tap “Restore” to restore from Time Machine.

How to Recover Emptied or Deleted Trash on Mac 2022 (Free without Software)

Recover Trash on Mac from iCloud

If you set up iCloud Drive on your Mac and store your files on it, the files will be synced with your iCloud account. So you may find a backup of your Trashed file in iCloud.

Step 1. Sign in to with your Apple ID and password on your Mac.

Step 2. Select the files that you emptied in your trash bin, and click the “Download” icon to save the selected files to your Mac.

How to Recover Emptied or Deleted Trash on Mac 2022 (Free without Software)

For files you can not find in your iCloud Drive, go to Settings>Advanced>Restore Files, choose the files to restore, then download to your Mac.

Recover Trash on Mac from Google Drive

It is much more likely that you are a Google user and benefit a lot from using the Google Drive service. If you have a habit to back up files in Google Drive, it would be possible for you to do a free Mac trash recovery.

Step 1. Login into your Google account.

Step 2. Go to Google Drive.

Step 3. Right-click on the file you want to recover from emptied trash bin, and choose “Download”.

How to Recover Emptied or Deleted Trash on Mac 2022 (Free without Software)

Step 4. Choose the output folder as needed to save the files.

For files you cannot find in Google Drive, go to Trash, then find the files and right-click to “Restore”.

In fact, as you can see, for any important files that you have accidentally deleted in your trash bin, if there is a backup in an online storage service, email box, or file transfer program, there is a way to recover them back in a similar way.

An Alternative to Recover Emptied Trash without Software

If you’ve tried to recover emptied Trash files with backup and your files are still not back, it is time to get some help from big guns. Talking or visiting a local data recovery expert is an alternative to recover Trash emptied files without software.

By searching “data recovery services near me” online in Google Chrome or another search engine, you will get a list of local services to recover your files on Mac. There may be contact info and talk to the staff before going to their office. Call several of these offices and compare their price, service, and customer reviews, then pick your best and bring your Mac to them for data recovery.

But before data recovery, you’d better back up the files on your Mac, in case of an accident.


The easiest way to recover emptied trash on Mac is absolutely to use the best Mac Trash Data Recovery software – MacDeed Data Recovery, it guarantees a high recovery rate. And for sure, if you want to make the emptied trash recovery easier, you’d better have a good habit to back up files, especially that important files onto an online storage service or hard drive.

MacDeed Data Recovery: Recover Emptied Trash Files in 200+ Formats

  • Recover recently deleted, permanently deleted, formatted, trash-emptied files
  • Restore files from both Mac internal and external storage devices
  • Use both quick scan and deep scan to find the most files
  • Support recovery of 200+ files: video, audio, image, document, archive, etc.
  • Quickly search files with a filter tool based on keyword, file size, and date created or modified
  • Preview files before recovery
  • Recover files to a local drive or Cloud (Dropbox, OneDrive, GoogleDrive, iCloud, Box)

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